Philip P. Ide

Author, programmer, science enthusiast, half-wit.
Life is sweet. Have you tasted it lately?

User Tools

Site Tools


start

I'm a novelist and have an interest in space science and physics. I've been a programmer for more than 30 years and I like reviewing new and up-and-coming authors.
If you want me to review your novel, please look at my Rules on Reviewingplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigRules on Reviewing

First off, you should know I only have a limited amount of time, so I can't review a hundred novels at once. Sorry, but that's basic physics for you. If I agree to review your novel, you may have to wait a while for me to get around to it, and then I'll need time to read it. I only review hard copies.
page.

Please consider registering (see top of page) to help support this site. Your personal data isn't shared with anyone, but it makes me feel good.

Donations are always welcome.  


InSight's Final Selfie

InSight's Final Selfie The InSight lander is in the final stages of of its extended mission. This image, taken on April 24th 2022, is it's last selfie.

There was a possibility to keep going until the last operating science experiment had to be turned off, and then InSight would keep operating on safe mode until it eventually ran out of power.

There's always a push to keep an experiment running as long as possible. It tests the experiment to extremis, and it keeps people employed. By running it as long as possible, they also discover the limits of the engineering in the harsh environment. This time though, they decided to turn off safe-mode so the seismometer can keep operating until the end.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigInSight's Final Selfie

[InSight's Final Selfie] The InSight lander is in the final stages of of its extended mission. This image, taken on April 24th 2022, is it's last selfie.

There was a possibility to keep going until the last operating science experiment had to be turned off, and then InSight would keep operating on safe mode until it eventually ran out of power.

· 2022/07/17 13:57 · Phil Ide

2022-07-10 A New Laptop

Mint flavoured laptop I bought a nice, shiny new laptop, which unfortunately came with Windows 11 on it. I immediately installed Linux Mint and some of my favourite apps.

As you can see from the screenshot, it looks good. It runs well too, taking just 12 seconds to boot from cold to login box, and another 3 secs from login to the desktop.

It's all setup with Wireguard so I can VPN into my home (although that's not needed if I use my phone as a hotspot). Being Mint, I can also use bluetooth (to my phone) to VPN, so that's even neater.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big2022-07-10 A New Laptop

[Mint flavoured laptop] I bought a nice, shiny new laptop, which unfortunately came with Windows 11 on it. I immediately installed Linux Mint and some of my favourite apps.

As you can see from the screenshot, it looks good. It runs well too, taking just 12 seconds to boot from cold to login box, and another 3 secs from login to the desktop.

· 2022/07/10 13:34 · Phil Ide

Coffee Blog: 2022-05-15

flat roaster

In 2021 I decided to take my love for coffee a stage further. For quite a few years I'd been making my own blends from pre-roasted beans, and that had met with varying amounts of success (as you can probably imagine). That is until I started getting serious with it and making charts with the various flavours and notes I perceived and what the strengths were of these and whether they were desirable or not. For example, I might taste a berry flavour, and depending upon how strong that flavour was I'd give it a numerical value. If it was undesirable, it was a negative value.

Using these charts I could blend different beans (they might be roasted lighter or darker, or be from different regions) and in the right ratios, the negative flavours could be minimised and the desirable flavours enhanced. With a bit of skill and experience, the right flavours could be balanced - you do have the numbers after all. It's a simple but very effective system.

It stands to reason then, that one day I'd want to start roasting my own beans.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCoffee Blog: 2022-05-15

In 2021 I decided to take my love for coffee a stage further. For quite a few years I'd been making my own blends from pre-roasted beans, and that had met with varying amounts of success (as you can probably imagine). That is until I started getting serious with it and making charts with the various flavours and notes I perceived and what the strengths were of these and whether they were desirable or not. For example, I might taste a berry flavour, and depending upon ho…

· 2022/05/15 18:53 · Phil Ide

A Coffee Maker's Blog

2022-05-15plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCoffee Blog: 2022-05-15

In 2021 I decided to take my love for coffee a stage further. For quite a few years I'd been making my own blends from pre-roasted beans, and that had met with varying amounts of success (as you can probably imagine). That is until I started getting serious with it and making charts with the various flavours and notes I perceived and what the strengths were of these and whether they were desirable or not. For example, I might taste a berry flavour, and depending upon ho…

2022-07-24plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCoffee Blog: 2022-07-24

Update: Profile H tested, see below

I've been creating roasting profiles, and recently changed from a numeric system to an alphabetic. I don't know why, perhaps the numbers were making me depressed at how many times I'd done it and still not reached a particularly good roast other by accident.

2022-07-31plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCoffee Blog: 2022-07-31

Yesterday, I roasted Profile I, which I'd come up with after sampling Profile H. I did two loads, each of 200g. Profile I Load 200g End (mins)Pre-heat 200(^c) Stage 1 (to yellow) Drying 200(^c) 6:00Stage 2 (to 1st crack)

2022-08-14plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCoffee Blog: 2022-08-14 Upgrade

There is a coffee roasting machine called the Aillio Bullet. You have to read its specs hear the hype to see what it is capable of, and at £3,250 it appears to be worth it. However, it doesn't have a flu or chimney, just a vent, so all the steam and oil it releases just fill up the kitchen. Hopefully they'll see the short-sightedness of this. Not all of us have garages, basements or cellars.

· 2022/05/15 18:51 · Phil Ide

Adding a Chromebook

I have a network with wiki-farm server to support my writing, a NAS and a home-made laptop. All of these things are based on Raspberry Pi's. Besides using the wiki-farm (which is used to write novels), I also use Zim-Wiki for making copious notes, character creation, world-building and plot development. Zim-Wiki is available on both Linux and Windows, and there is an ARM build that runs happily on the Raspberry Pi. And then I added a Chromebook, and that went from good idea to nightmare and back again.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigAdding a Chromebook

I have a network with wiki-farm server to support my writing, a NAS and a home-made laptop. All of these things are based on Raspberry Pi's. Besides using the wiki-farm (which is used to write novels), I also use Zim-Wiki for making copious notes, character creation, world-building and plot development. Zim-Wiki is available on both Linux and Windows, and there is an ARM build that runs happily on the Raspberry Pi. And then I added a Chromebook, and that went from good idea …

· 2022/01/24 11:22 · Phil Ide

<< Newer entries | Older entries >>

This website uses cookies. By using the website, you agree with storing cookies on your computer. Also you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy. If you do not agree leave the website.More information about cookies
start.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/07 05:19 by Phil Ide

Except where otherwise noted, content on this wiki is licensed under the following license: Copyright © Phil Ide
Donate Powered by PHP Valid HTML5 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki
  • ISSplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigInternational Space Station

    This page has a portal through which you can view the current location of the International Space Station, updating in real-time. The tracker itself comes from the European Space Agency (ESA).

    There is also a handy link to get email notifications direct from NASA when the ISS is visible in your night sky.
  • Mars Weatherplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMars Weather Reports

    These reports are provided by NASA's InSight lander in the south-west corner of Elysium Planitia. Daily readings are usually a couple of days behind reality.

    This page is updated as new data is detected. InSight is no longer transmitting weather data
  • Downloadsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDownloads

    Orbital Calculator Current Version This is a portable application, meaning there is no installer. Just unzip into a folder and run the executable. Since it is portable, it can be run from a USB stick.

    A full description and a list of the features are available
  • Orbital Calculatorplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Calculator

    I needed to calculate orbital characteristics for any orbit around any gravitational mass (because I write sci-fi stories), so I wrote this program because I'm a programmer and I'm too lazy to do it by hand all the time. The program has expanded over the last few years, sometimes from suggestions by other writers. I make it freely available and as simple to use as possible. It now has a list of functions as long as your arm (assuming you're not a tentacle user), and the numbe…
  • Cookie Policy & GDPRplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCookie Policy & GDPR

    There are NO tracking cookies on this site!

    The Cookie policy is straightforward. This site only uses cookies that are required to make your experience of using this site better, and only uses session cookies (see exceptions below). Session cookies are deleted when you close your browser.
  • Book Reviewsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigBook Reviews

    Here you can find all the book reviews, broken down by genre, and further subdivided by author. If you want me to review your novel, please read my Rules on Reviewing.

    * Science-Fiction * Fantasy * Non-Fiction
  • Contactplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigContact

    If you have a burning desire to contact me, use the discussion form below. Anything you say remains private between you and me.